Press conference of Mircea Lucescu and Olexandr Karavayev before the game against Fenerbahce

Press conference of Mircea Lucescu and Olexandr Karavayev before the game against Fenerbahce

FC Dynamo Kyiv head coach Mircea Lucescu and halfback Olexandr Karavayev answered journalists’ questions the day before the Champions League 2nd qualifying round second leg against Fenerbahce SK.

Olexandr Karavayev:

- Olexandr, you used to play for Fenerbahce. How do you feel now that you’re back to Istanbul?

- I was here five years ago. Although I didn’t spend much time in Istanbul, it was a good period. I really liked it here – beautiful city, passionate fans. I always felt their support. Besides it was the first time I joined a club outside Ukraine.

Mircea Lucescu:

- What will you make Jorge Jesus think of after this game?

- Tomorrow will be a totally different game. We didn’t do a lot in the first leg and had a lot of issues. You all know what the difference between Fenerbahce and Dynamo is like today. You play at home while we don’t. Turkish side signed a number of players while we lost some. Fenerbahce have fantastic fans while we’re currently supported mostly by women and children as men are fighting against enemies in Ukraine. We don’t have a permanent location. We travel Europe to practice and play. So, we’re really different at the moment. But football doesn’t care about that. Everything must be settled on the field and we’re ready to play.

- Jorge Jesus emphasized the number of fouls in the first league meaning it was your way to stop opponents…

- I know what he said. This is about tactics. I’ve been in football for 77 years and I know what one should emphasize. We had a lot of scoring opportunities. As you know, we hadn’t had official matches for eight months before this game. We knew Fenerbahce are very good team enforced by newcomers, so we were very careful in the first leg. We didn’t quite know what we were capable of. Your players did better in terms of possession, but we had more opportunities to score after counterattacks. As for fouls, that’s not true, there’s nothing to discuss. Both sides played fairly.

- How will the upcoming match differ from the previous one? Is it possible Fenerbahce will underestimate you?

- I think Jorge Jesus is a really good experienced coach. He doesn’t need Instat or Wyscout to demonstrate something. I don’t think there will be any underestimation. I’m sure the Turkish side will be totally ready for the match. We’ll also try to qualify for the next stage despite the tough situation we’re facing.

Not only did Dynamo have no official games for eight months. We have only Ukrainian players beside Kedziora and Verbic. Most of the rest are club academy trainees. So it’s not easy to do what other European clubs do. Big teams need good transfers. Fenerbahce have signed very skillful and fast performers. On the other hand, we play very orderly. It’s not true they had a lot of chances in the first leg. They dominated, but didn’t create a lot.

- You said this match will be a challenge for you, but you are a welcome guest for Besiktas and Galatasaray as you used to work with these teams. What do you think of your return to Turkey in this regard?

- My football life consists of experience and memories. I have great memories of Turkey as I worked with Besiktas, Galatasaray and the national team. I like this country, Istanbul. I respect all fans as they’re incredible. It’s a very important part of my football life.

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